Shortlisted alongside universities including Huddersfield and Swansea, UWS’ new Lanarkshire Campus won in the Sustainable Buildings That Inspire category.
The culmination of a two-year project and £110 million investment, UWS Lanarkshire Campus opened its doors to staff and students in the summer of 2018 and since then has represented a step-change in the delivery of higher education in the UK.
The Guardian University Award recognised a capital project which had positively enhanced the student and staff experience and fostered a more sustainable living and working environment.
Sustainability is at the very heart of UWS Lanarkshire Campus, which is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from nearby Blantyre Muir windfarm and features rainwater harvesting technology, photovoltaic panels, a building management system, intelligent travel infrastructure and various environmental initiatives including compostable cutlery.
The building is also smart, and harnesses technology throughout to maximise efficiency and minimise energy wastage, resulting in one of the UK’s greenest educational environments.
Based in Hamilton International Technology Park, UWS Lanarkshire Campus incorporates 26,000 square metres of flexible space, serving more than 4,100 students and 200 staff. It includes Scotland’s newest simulated nursing and midwifery teaching environments and an extreme environments laboratory, one of only two in the country and the only one in the west of Scotland.
The campus also boasts hi-tech biomechanics and specialist sports labs, a 236-capacity auditorium, a conference space for up to 128 people, as well as areas for individual and collaborative working, and a state-of-the-art health and fitness centre, which offers free memberships for all students.
The campus embodies UWS’ vision to provide student-centred, personalised and distinctive learning and teaching experiences, abandoning traditional lecture hall layouts and enclosed classrooms, recognising that physical and digital spaces both shape learning.
It provides an open, technology-rich, immersive and interactive environment which is responsive to students’ need for both online and face-to-face collaboration and is open 24/7.
By blending modern teaching methods and contemporary learning environments, underpinned by a commitment to sustainability, the resulting campus is fully-equipped to evolve in the future, facilitating work and study in a flexible environment fit for today, and for future generations.
Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS principal and vice-chancellor, said: “We are immensely proud that UWS Lanarkshire has been recognised as one of the most sustainable and inspiring buildings at the recent Guardian University Awards.
“The award is testament to the hard work, careful planning and dedication of everyone involved in this highly ambitious project.
“When UWS Lanarkshire opened its doors to students in September 2018 it was a momentous occasion in the University’s long history, and for it to be acknowledged for the positive impact it’s already having less than one year on is a fantastic achievement.
“Since the project to create UWS Lanarkshire began, providing a truly sustainable and inspiring campus was a key focus and we worked hard to design a building which truly represented the values of UWS.
“Sustainability played a crucial role in the design of all aspects of the campus – resulting in a building students and staff can be extremely proud of. Having the building recognised in this way has thrilled us all.”